In the fourth book of the Harry Potter series, The Goblet of Fire, Albus Dumbledore introduced Harry to a most interesting magical artifact. This device, called the pensieve, was a large basin of water. Professor Dumbledore would occasionally touch his magic wand to his temple and withdraw a silver thread of memory, then place it in the pensieve. When Harry plunged his face into the water, he was able to observe and live the memory which had been selected.

The pensieve has become for us an icon, a metaphor for the act of writing and reading. It is usually a struggle to find the right words to put down on paper, the words that best explain our thoughts and memories. But when a writer has artfully constructed her literary work, regardless of the genre, the readers can be immersed—almost unconsciously—in a world and life their mind has imagined. For us, this is what represents literary beauty.

We hope that the fiction, nonfiction, and poetry we share with you here, in The Pensieve, will resonate with you in a most immersive manner.
If you would like to offer your own writing to our site, please visit our Submit page.


Kelly McDonald

After more than forty years of immersion in a highly technical career, I find myself now pursuing a different dimension of my work. I’m now searching for art in my experiences and writing about it. Although most of my literary work has been focused on the personal essay, I’m now experimenting with some fiction through short-story, and perhaps even a little bit of poetry in the future. In 2014, I retired as the Assistant Vice-President for Information Technology at Brigham Young University, where I directed the technical work of 250 full-time and 600 part-time employees. Now, I spend my time teaching and learning, writing, and reading, trying to make a difference in the lives of others.

Elizabeth Derrick Smith

When I was a child, I went around proudly announcing that I wanted to be a famous author. Well, many years have passed since I first declared my lofty ambition, and I’m just barely starting to get the hang of writing—and I am, by no means, famous. I graduated from Brigham Young University in 2018 with my bachelor's in English and my minors in editing and Portuguese. I currently spend most of my time taking care of my young children, occasionally working on freelance editorial projects, and writing stories.

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